Give to Educational Charities this Christmas Season

The season of giving is upon us, and what better way to celebrate the holidays than by donating to some worthy educational charities. This year, consider the following 4-star educational charities (descriptions are from CharityNavigator.org):

  • Teach for America – “Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates of all academic majors who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools, and become lifelong leaders in ensuring educational equity and excellence for all children. Our mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting some of our nation’s most promising future leaders in the effort. Since 1990, more than 14,000 exceptional individuals have joined Teach For America. They have directly impacted the lives of two million students and form a growing force of civic leaders committed to ensuring that our nation lives up to its ideal of opportunity for all. Currently, 3,500 corps members are teaching in over 1,000 schools in 22 regions across the country.”
  • Scholarship America – “Founded in 1958, Scholarship America has distributed more than one billion dollars to more than one million students. Scholarship America is the nation’s largest private scholarship and educational support organization. We work to expand access to educational opportunities by involving and assisting communities, corporations, foundations, organizations and individuals in the support of students and in the encouragement of educational achievement. Scholarship America programs include Dollars for Scholars, Scholarship Management Services, and ScholarShop.”
  • Big Shoulders Fund – “The mission of the Big Shoulders Fund is to provide support to the Catholic schools in the neediest areas of inner-city Chicago. The funds raised by Big Shoulders are used for scholarships, special education programs, instructional equipment, much needed facility improvements, faculty support, and operating grants. Serving both Catholics and non-Catholics, Big Shoulders Fund supported schools are seen as anchors in their communities and in the lives of the families they serve. It is our hope to provide the inner-city Catholic schools with the resources to prepare Chicago’s young people for a productive future. The Big Shoulders Fund seeks to offer inner-city children and their parents the choice of a faith-based, value-centered education.”
  • Reading Excellence and Discovery Foundation – “Reading Excellence and Discovery (READ) Foundation was established in 1999 to address the high proportion of low-income students demonstrating below grade level reading skills. READ’s founders sought a research-based educational approach, which would yield measurable results for students and address reading difficulties before they became barriers to learning. READ employs one-on-one research-based reading instruction to prepare at-risk children to become proficient readers. READ recruits, trains and employs teens to teach reading skills to their younger peers who are struggling with learning to read. READ targets economically disadvantaged students and teens.”
  • Teaching Matters – “Teaching Matters is a professional development organization that partners with educators to improve public schools. We use technology in the classroom to prepare teachers and their students for 21st Century learning and achievement. Founded in 1994 by teachers, technology experts, and business leaders, Teaching Matters provides teachers and principals with hands-on professional development in the classroom, in group workshops, and online. From the arts and literacy to science and social studies, we design programs that support your school’s curriculum and make learning more relevant and engaging.”
  • Donors Choose – “DonorsChoose, pioneered by teachers at a Bronx public high school in the spring of 2000, is dedicated to addressing the scarcity and inequitable distribution of learning materials and experiences in our public schools. DonorsChoose is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At the DonorsChoose web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas become classroom reality when concerned individuals, whom we call Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund. Proposals range from ‘Magical Math Centers’ ($200) to ‘Big Book Bonanza’ ($320), to ‘Cooking Across the Curriculum’ ($1,100).”

If none of those charities interests you, check out CharityNavigator.org for more choices.

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